With every new platform comes the inevitable sighs from overworked digital marketers.
“Not another one” becomes the common refrain. There are generally two camps when it comes to new channels with marketing potential: ‘let’s do this’ or ‘wait and see.’
Recently, many have been considering whether to invest resources in Snapchat.
Snapchat, which emerged nearly six years ago, is only now coming around to the Big Kid’s table. The platform surpassed Twitter in daily active users in mid-2016. And it certainly helps that the company went public just this month.
Even though user growth stalled in recent months, the publicity around the IPO accelerated the pace at which marketers are engaging on the platform.
The creativity that the platform allows on both the brand and user side is phenomenal.
As the platform is its own unique beast, this means that brands must invest in the time to take quality content. Snap users are especially aware of authenticity, which raises the stakes for brands considerably.
So who’s doing it well? And what can we learn from them?
GrubHub hits a home-run on two fronts: hiring and engagement. The team behind the handle uses Snapchat to be creative in ways that aren’t possible on other networks.
In this image below pulled by Wallaroo Media, the company is seeking an intern with “Snapchat skillz.” The collage shows the series of images shared within this one story -- a simple message, told in the casual style that has made Snapchat so appealing.
GrubHub extends this savvy use of Snapchat to its engagement with followers.
The brand takes the concept of a giveaway and puts a Snap-spin on it by requiring a Snap response. For the example below, the company asked its followers to respond with a "food doodle" in order to be entered to win a random drawing.
The giveaways don’t need to be complicated - by encouraging a creative contribution, the brand benefits from a deeper engagement. And in this case, maybe a food doodle is all it takes to make a user think about ordering in!
(image credit Fast Company: https://www.fastcocreate.com/3033793/how-12-brands-used-snapchat)
2. Aer Lingus
Among airlines, Aer Lingus was one of the earliest adopters of Snapchat. The airline has spent a lot of time perfecting its presence, often focusing on a key type of content popular on Snapchat: behind-the-scenes.
Content that offers a view behind the brand proves popular with followers, especially in industries like aviation that have such a passionate group of self-professed geeks.
The brand also takes a creative approach to using Snapchat as part of new route announcements. In the video below, the team celebrates a new route into Los Angeles with an Aer Lingus-themed movie night. But there’s a catch -- the movie titles are written in emoji. Those who can decipher the correct movies win!
There are many airlines engaging on Snapchat now, from Virgin America to Qantas to Qatar. The platform is ideally suited to the vast amounts of behind-the-scenes and destination-based content that airlines have access to!
3. Star Wars to show off a destination
This promo for a Star Wars toy called Sphero highlights the benefit of working with influencers on Snapchat. It’s much harder to build a following on Snapchat, so paying to access the right community on the platform can reap dividends.
Take Shaun McBride, for example. The influencer has amassed over two million followers, which makes his reach quite powerful.
The Star Wars team worked with him to create a story about McBride’s day with Sphero in Paris. This promotion is especially relevant in travel, as it shows how potential partnerships between brands and influencers can also be used to showcase destinations.
Bonus pro tip: DJ Khaled
Every Snapchat-bound marketer should get to know DJ Khaled. He’s the first person to truly master Snapchat, revealing its vast potential as a kingmaker. This compilation is a reminder of the currency of Snapchat: complete authenticity.
While Snapchat has certainly evolved since Khaled started snapping, there’s value in knowing a vital piece of the platform’s appeal.
As Snapchat finds its way in the post-IPO world, there will be clear pressures to monetize effectively. This will both offer brands new opportunities to engage - and also widen the danger zone of stepping too far into the promotional.
By keeping the audience top-of-mind, any marketer can navigate the shifting tides skillfully.
Parting words from Nestle digital boss Pete Blackshaw, as told The Drum this week:
"We like to jump into relationships with platforms with a very strong learning plan and once we have the confidence that a medium works, pays out and builds the business we are all in.
The key for a digital leader in tech or marketing is to stay hyper focused on the consumer. Be very, very humble about what you don’t know and always listen in a curious attentive way. I am still trying to figure it out. Facebook can’t ignore it, and neither can we."